Good morning, all! Welcome to the first guest post here at Stories by Firefly. Isn't that exciting?! :D Lets hear a hearty round of applause for...Joshua!
Hello all! Joshua here, from Literary Cafe. I’m so excited to be with you on Faith’s fabulous blog. We’ve decided to post five of our favorite book recommendations. (You can find Faith’s post on my blog here). I’m going to work through five different genres, so you can have a taste from each. Let’s jump right in!
Out of the Silent Planet
“And I say also this. I do not think the forest would be so bright, nor the water so warm, nor love so sweet, if there were no danger in the lakes.”
This book is part of one of my all-time favorite series, CS Lewis’s space trilogy. Although eclipsed in popularity by his Chronicles of Narnia, the space trilogy’s depth, and clarity of thought, characteristic of his writing, amazes me. Narnia will always be dear to me as a warm fairyland. However, although this book is set on the planet of Mars (or Malacandra, as it is more frequently called in the book), the poignant lessons it contains are burned more deeply into my heart than most books written about Earth. His prose is breathtaking, and thought-provoking. The only cons to this book, in my opinion, are that it curses mildly a few times (but I believe that occurred mainly in the beginning, and by the only nasty characters in the book), and that because it is such a deep novel, and Lewis’s vocabulary was so developed, it will take longer to read per page than most books.
Lord of the Rings
J.R.R. Tolkien’s classic work has been praised many times, by more capable authors than myself. But I can’t resist adding my own two cents. His Christian worldview subtly seeps through the entire work. The admittedly large book is filled with wise sayings, like
“All that is gold does not glitter,
Not all those who wander are lost;
The old that is strong does not wither,
Deep roots are not reached by the frost.”
Yes, this book is quite a time commitment. Yes, Tolkien rambles, on every subject from Galadriel’s hair to the hair on hobbit’s feet (literally). But it’s worth it. Give it a try.
There’s a Sheep in my Bathtub
This book, about the very beginnings of the church in Mongolia, is every bit as quirky as its title. And yes, there was actually a sheep butchered in a bathtub. Brian Hogan, author of this book, moved himself to Mongolia with his wife, with virtually nothing but the call to be a missionary to a foreign people, and had to deal with an alien culture, third world poverty, and emotional turmoil. This book covers both the ups and the downs. It might make you cry, and if you don’t laugh aloud at least once while reading it, you certifiably have no sense of humor. You’ll have a hard time putting this book down, and might find yourself sighing as you close the back cover.
In case you haven’t noticed that this is the second book on this list by CS Lewis, I’ll go ahead and explain that I am a genuine Lewis addict. But, this is a good addiction to acquire. There are plenty of books designed to explain the basic tenets of Christianity. But I believe that if you have an intellectually-oriented friend, this book is the right one for them. Lewis uses his razor sharp wit to systematically dismantle the major arguments against Christianity, and make some strong ones of his own, like this:
“My argument against God was that the universe seemed so cruel and unjust. But how had I got this idea of just and unjust? A man does not call a line crooked unless he has some idea of a straight line. What was I comparing this universe with when I called it unjust?”
He doesn’t get into convoluted theology, but simply lays out what he calls “mere Christianity,” the basic tenets of our faith. I strongly recommend this book to both skeptics, and anyone seeking to bring their understanding of the faith on a deeper level.
This book is the only one on the list that isn’t written by a Christian. Orson Scott Card is Mormon. However, this portrayal of the story of Exodus is surprisingly accurate. The biblical portrayal of Moses, although accurate, of course, leaves many questions dangling in a reader’s mind. Who exactly is “Pharaoh?” How did a girl, in a time and place where women had few rights, have the power and motive to pull a despised Hebrew from a the Nile, and proclaim him her child, and royalty to boot? Why did Egypt give the Israelites some of the best land in the country, and treat them kindly for many years, and then almost schizophrenically decide to enslave every last Hebrew? Although this book is obviously speculative, it provides a detailed and exciting look at how Moses’s Egypt could have appeared. You’ll find yourself turning the pages quickly.
I hope that these books inspire you, guide you, and deepen your faith. If you want more posts like this, come check us out on literarycafe.weebly.com! :)